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review 2018-04-22 23:34
Team Phison by Chace Verity Review
Team Phison - Chace Verity

For 55-year-old Phil Hutton, finding a new boyfriend is tough, especially since he’s still hurting from his ex leaving him for a younger man. Online dating has been a soul-crushing experience for the restaurant owner. Too many meat-haters interested in microbreweries or something called geocaching. His matches in the multiplayer for his favorite video game have been equally sucky too.

One night, he encounters a newbie who is so helpless, Phil can’t help showing him the ropes. It doesn’t take long for Phil to become interested in his enthusiastic teammate. 28-year-old Tyson Falls from Georgia loves working as a server in a rinky pizza joint and sees the best in everything. As Phil’s online dating matches get worse and his in-game matches with Tyson get better, he finds himself wanting to pursue the easygoing chatterbox with a thick, sexy drawl.

But Phil can’t get past the fear that Tyson could possibly want a fossil like him. If his brain doesn’t stop being so damn insecure, it might be game over for his heart.

 

Review

 

If you want a romance to make you smile, this is a good choice.  It is a lovely, sweet, met on line while gaming age difference romance.

 

Phil might be afraid but he still reachers out and our other hero is all about the emotionial bravery.

 

Good stuff. 

 

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review 2018-04-03 17:30
A disappointingly conventional sci-fi novel
A World of Difference - Harry Turtledove

This was a book that I read both because of its author and its premise.  With dozens of alternate history novels, novellas, and short stories to his credit, Harry Turtledove is the acknowledged master of the genre, and I have enjoyed many of his works.  The description of the story also had much to offer, moving away from the standard Civil War/World War II setting of far too many alternate histories to pose a much more refreshing one – what if the fourth planet from our sun was capable of sustaining life?

 

Much of what Turtledove does with this is imaginative.  No longer the “red planet” we know, he bestows upon it a different name – “Minerva” rather than Mars.  To make it habitable, then planet is larger, though its distance from the sun means that it is still a cold place.  He also devises an ecology based around entirely different premises, imagining evolution producing radial rather than symmetrical species with their own cycles and habits.  After this life is discovered by an American probe in 1976, the two superpowers of the United States and the Soviet Union race to send manned missions to Minerva to explore it for themselves, with the story itself being a tale of the two missions’ simultaneous arrival on the planet.

 

Yet as I read this book, I was struck by how conventional it was.  Once the premise is outlined, the plot quickly develops along the lines of the American-versus-Soviet space contests typical of many sci-fi novels produced during the Cold War.  Propping up the story with an alternate-history setting allows Turtledove to get away with this, but it gives the entire book a prematurely dated feel.  Moreover, too many of the characters are underdeveloped, sometimes leaving them indistinguishable from one another.  The “Minervans” suffer from similar flaws, with only a few of them clearly defined in any way and none of them ever coming across as truly alien.

 

As a result, the book might disappoint readers familiar with Turtledove's later work.  While not a bad novel, it lacks the distinctive characters and immersion into detailed alternate Earths that are hallmarks of many of the author's subsequent writings.  Fans of Turtledove's other novels will find the absence of such elements leaving them wanting more, as it fails to provide what they have come to expect from this notable author.

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review 2018-01-27 20:50
Same Difference
Same Difference - Derek Kirk Kim

I think I read this book at the right time. I was in the right mood and the right frame of mind. At another time I might have related too much or too little, and the story would have annoyed me. Gives me Lost at Sea vibes (but more normal).

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text 2018-01-22 15:11
In a nutshell- it was awesome!
Riding Drag - shukyou

This is a small gem I discovered thanks to my friends on Goodreads. 


I won't retell the story or describe the protagonists, as it's better if you see for yourself. 
I'll just point out Riding Drag has a very original setting and characters. Awesome prose and dialogues and I'd definitely read more from this author.

 

It is free online and you can read it here .

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review 2018-01-05 19:07
The Difference Engine / William Gibson & Bruce Sterling
The Difference Engine - William Gibson

1855: The Industrial Revolution is in full and inexorable swing, powered by steam-driven cybernetic Engines. Charles Babbage perfects his Analytical Engine and the computer age arrives a century ahead of its time. And three extraordinary characters race toward a rendezvous with history - and the future: Sybil Gerard - dishonored woman and daughter of a Luddite agitator; Edward "Leviathan" Mallory - explorer and paleontologist; Laurence Oliphant - diplomat and spy. Their adventure begins with the discovery of a box of punched Engine cards of unknown origin and purpose. Cards someone wants badly enough to kill for...

 

As many others have pointed out, this book is one of the first in what we now know as the Steampunk genre. It explores the question of what would happen if the Industrial Revolution and the development of the computer had coincided—what would Victorian society have looked like?

It’s a complex novel, with a lot of layers. I read most of it in airports and on planes and didn’t have the best circumstances to be able to concentrate on those details. On the other hand, if it had been really riveting, I wouldn’t have noticed my surroundings, so I apparently didn’t find it all that compelling.

I appreciated the re-structuring of British society, from being run by the blue-blooded to being administered by the scientific. It was nice to see paleontologists and poets being recognized for their skills and not just dismissed as soft science or whimsy. And there must always be a resistance movement, which was well realized and sported realistic details, in my opinion.

The story frequently got bogged down in the details, however, and then just eventually petered out, leaving me disappointed. After a strong start, the weakness of the ending was a let down.

Book number 269 in my Science Fiction and Fantasy Reading project.

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